Association of a Favorable Cardiovascular Health Profile With the Presence of Coronary Artery Calcification

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Background—To examine the association between the American Heart Association’s 7 metrics of ideal cardiovascular health (ICH) and the presence of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis as assessed by coronary artery calcification (CAC) using electron-beam computed tomography.Methods and Results—This study is a cross-sectional analysis of data obtained on 3121 male and female patients evaluated at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, between 1997 and 2007. We included men aged ≥45 and women aged ≥55 without known cardiovascular disease and for whom information on all ICH metrics and a CAC score were available. Patients were grouped into 3 categories according to their number of ICH metrics: favorable (4–7 ICH metrics), intermediate (3 metrics), and unfavorable (0–2 metrics). Patients with favorable ICH profiles had a lower prevalence and severity of subclinical atherosclerosis than those with unfavorable or intermediate ICH profiles as estimated by CAC. This inverse association of CAC with ICH metrics was evident whether the presence of coronary calcium was defined as CAC score >0, CAC score >100, or CAC score >400. Patients with favorable ICH profiles had odds of coronary calcium (CAC>0) less than half of those for patients with unfavorable profiles (odds ratio 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.34–0.50) and patients with intermediate ICH profiles had odds of detectable CAC 32% lower (odds ratio 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.57–0.82).Conclusions—A statistically significant association was found between a favorable level of ICH metrics and less or absent subclinical atherosclerosis as measured by CAC underscoring the importance of primordial prevention.

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